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Fyodor Duz-Khotimirsky vs Jose Raul Capablanca
"Jose Your Daddy?" (game of the day Jul-25-2016)
Moscow (1925), Moscow URS, rd 12, Nov-25
Indian Game: Kingside Fianchetto (A48)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: I've only just discovered this beautiful game, but <twinlark>'s comments (from 8 years ago) sum up what I was thinking. Capa's two pawn sacrifices are astonishing - in particular the first one, ...c4!, when it is hard to see what kind of compensation Black gets for the pawn. Deep.

I used to have a book of Capa's endgames - this game proves that his openings and middlegames weren't bad either.

Jun-09-15  MindCtrol9: Capablanca was such a great player dominating all the faces of the game.The first pawn sacrify is the beginning of an initiative taking control of the board with his pieces and strangaling the opponent little by little.The second pawn sacrify is to keep the initiative not leaving White any chance to recover.Capablanca not only was a positional player, but an attacker as well very djfferent to others.From players like him any regular player can learn and become realy good.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Should have been Game of the Day a long time ago.
Jul-25-16  todicav23: This game reminds me of the style of play of Komodo.

I think the old chess players are underrated. People think that current players are much better because the theory advanced and the computers have influenced the game. But I don't think the difference in very big. Probably Capablanca had a better understanding of the game than most of the current top players. He was also one of the most talented players ever (along with Morphy and Fischer).

Jul-25-16  The Kings Domain: The great Cuban at his peak, highlighting the solid positional play that was the hallmark of his style.
Jul-25-16  morfishine: Ho Zay Your Daddy?????????



Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: This is a good choice for GOTD. It was fun seeing Casablanca seize the initiative from move 12 and from there accumulate positional advantages.

The pun is a bit random...

Premium Chessgames Member
  maxi: Capa didn't think of a great move, he thought of great structures. Anyway, the pun is silly but funny.
Jul-25-16  posoo: now DIS is a good game but WHY did Doschote just GIVE EVERYTHING AWAY at da end?!
Jul-25-16  kevin86: What a showstopper! Capa blocks a check with a lethal pin!
Jul-25-16  Conrad93: Wow, this game is way ahead of its time.
Extremely hypermodern chess in 1925!

But can anyone clarify what happens after 13. Ncxe5 Nh5 14. Ng4!

Jul-25-16  morfishine: Yes, this game is good enough to be "GOTD"

Quality-wise, no argument

The title is plain stupid and needs to be removed lest we offend certain others


Jul-25-16  The17thPawn: <morfishine> -Well it's obviously a play on Whose Your Daddy. Not the most highbrow effort but certainly not the most offensive play on words I've read.
Premium Chessgames Member
  catlover: <Conrad93> From what I can see, it looks like you found a superior response for white to Capa's gambit. I ran your continuation through Stockfish, and it gives white an edge.
Jul-25-16  visayanbraindoctor: About time this got to be Game of the Day.

This is my all time favorite positional sac game. The second is

Karpov vs Gulko, 1996

My all time favorite tactical sac game is

Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907

I've commented on this game a few years back but I missed this:

<kevin86: What a showstopper! Capa blocks a check with a lethal pin!>

<kevin> refers to the final combination. Notice the total tactical control that Capablance evinces. Many chess fans don't notice this at all, having grown up on books that depict Capa as a purely positional player. IMO the young Capablanca's games show a tactical accuracy unsurpassed in the history of chess. Even in the most bizarre double edged positions with pieces apparently randomly placed all over the board, he hardly made any mistakes.

<todicav23: This game reminds me of the style of play of Komodo.

I think the old chess players are underrated. People think that current players are much better because the theory advanced and the computers have influenced the game.>

Nearly every chessplayer grows up assuming that the players of his current era are the best, and tends to think that those of past eras were worse. That's not necessarily true. I call it the Narcissistic Generation Syndrome. It was in reviewing games of Capablanca, Lasker, and Alekhine that weaned me off this kind of thinking.

<computers have influenced the game>

I can only see irony in this. There have been many computer based comparative analyses of chessgames past and present. AFAIK all computer studies show Capablanca either on the top or second to the top. If computers were self-aware and could vote, they would undoubtedly choose Capablanca as their favorite player of all time, even over present day active ones, who grew up with them to aid them.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <visayanbraindoctor> What's your opinion of Dus-Chotimirsky's strength compared to today's players? (He was probably in the top 50 at the time this was played.)
Aug-01-16  Chessman1504: There's also a Karpov vs Seirawan game involving a positional pawn sac: Karpov vs Seirawan, 1983
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Answering my own question above: in the Aug. 1925 ratings list, Capablanca was 2756 and Dus-Chotimirsky was 2481, a rating difference of 275 chessmetrics rating points. And Dus-Chotimirsky was ranked #58 in the world.

I don't always buy's conclusions, but I think we would all agree that there was a wide gap between Capablanca and Dus-Chotimirsky at this time, and also between Dus-Chotimirsky and today's top 50, top 100 or even top 200 players.

My own opinion is we need to consider strength of opposition when using games like this as part of cross-era comparisons.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <visayan....In the above position, Black's bishops are not just valued at 3, each of them has attained a value of at least 3.5. His rooks may each have a value of 5.5. His Queen 9.5. On the other hand, White's knights probably have been devalued to 2.5 each. His rooks to 4.5 each. His Queen to 8.5

Capablanca's chess mind seemed to have worked this way. He did not see a Queen as always being valued at 9, his rook at 5, his bishop or knight at 3. He always assigned values to them based on their activity. For such a chess mind, making sound sacrifices becomes seconds nature. It's why Alekhine praised Capa's sacrifices as always correct and sound....>

Capablanca possessed exceptional intuition, which he backed up with precise calculation in his best days.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: As for the game, White's play after gaining a pawn looks passive and planless.

For example, how about <23. b4> to create a c5 outpost? If Black continues as in the game, we might have 23. b4 Bf8 24. Nb3 Bd7 25. Bc5. Looks to me like White has better chances.

Aug-19-16  sudoplatov: The Pawn structure looks a lot like a Ruy Lopez with colors reversed. The c-Pawn push to the fifth rank (c4 or c5) is thematic; the Duras variation leads the this type of position at times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: Another possible improvement is <28. Nxf4>, trading off Black's most aggressive piece and breaking Black's pawn structure. Then 28...exf4 would give up the d4 square: 28. Nxf4 exf4 29. Bd4 looks great for White. So he probably replies 28. Nxf4 <gxf4> 29. Bf2.

In that case, the counterplay with ...b3 and ...Ba4 doesn't work just yet, White is ready to start operating on the d-file which will probably lead to more exchanges, and after queenside pawn exchanges White can aim to bring out his knight to c3 and d5. I don't see that Black has much for his sacrificed pawn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: One more chance for White may be <30. Qc3> instead of the game's <30. Nxb3?>. After that, Black can win back the pawn and trade down to what looks like a drawn ending, but I don't see much more than that.

For example, 30. Qc3 Be6 31. Nd2 Bxc4 32. Nxc4 Qxc4 33. Qxb3 Qxb3 34. Nxb3 Rab8 35. Bxf4 exf4 36. Rd3 Rc2 37. Rb1 Bg7 38. Rd2.

Apr-27-22  Mathematicar: Excellent game!
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Capablanca plays like Alpha-zero at first glance of this game - mysterious pawn sacrifices
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